Holiday Equilibrium

The Christmas season is upon us. I think I’m finally beginning to reclaim some joy for this season.  It’s amazing what an idyllic childhood of Christmases will do to hinder and taint your attempts to enjoy the holiday as a single adult.

Christmases past are perfect in my memory and all of that had to do with my mom.She was way better than Santa Claus. Most of the year she was pretty stressed with work and taking care of three girls on her own, but at Christmas time she was the Happiest Little Elf version of herself. Her happiness would spill over to her three daughters in a way that caused us to fight less and love more. The weekend after Thanksgiving she would pull out the boxes and the whole house would be transformed. A stack of the best Christmas records would sit on the record player and when they  had played through we would just flip them all over and start again.

As the youngest in the house, I always got up first on Christmas morning. Sometime around age 7 or 8 I crept down the hall before daylight and there in the living room, in the magical glow of the Christmas tree lights, sat a shiny, red bicycle. I knew it was for me. After gaping at it for a few seconds, I slipped into my mom’s room to wake her up. Before I said anything, her sleepy voice came from under covers, “I missed The Face.” Of course she meant the face I made when I saw that glorious bike, so I replayed it for her…. Continue reading “Holiday Equilibrium”

Part of You Pours Out of Me

Growth is painful. I attest to this.
Do I have to ask whether it is worth it?

Would I change the things I have gone through if I had the choice? This question has always bothered me a little. I wouldn’t want to boil down my hard times to one or two “why”s. Oh, THIS is why that happened. I don’t want to do that because it seems to limit the ripple effect of growth.

Today a friend payed me a high compliment by saying that he enjoys how honest I am with myself… not just honest to others about who I am, but honest with myself about who I am. After he said this I considered how it would be if I did otherwise… or rather, how it is when I do otherwise. I constantly come back to the reality that I must always live with myself. I cannot get away from me, no matter what I do or where I go. I am with myself when I wake up in the morning, at my side all day, and then, still there when I lay down to sleep at night….. Continue reading “Part of You Pours Out of Me”

Unrehearsed Family Bonding

We’re still at Mom’s house in Idaho.

I’m happy to be with these people- you know- family. I’m a little surprised at how many good moments of connection there have been amidst so many thoughts in my head about life and church and family and the future. It’s like I have more senses and I can suddenly multitask  the input from each one without overload.

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The characters here are as follows… Continue reading “Unrehearsed Family Bonding”

Unbirthday Gifts

Currently I am sitting across from two of my nephews. Randall and Jonathan. They are 10 and 11 years old. Cousins who are also friends. Randall is fake coughing to make me laugh or … annoy me? He is also a little annoyed that I’m writing about him on the internet. Jonathan explains that I may be planning world domination with my typing. So we sit across from each other and make silly faces and noises. When he discovers that I’m  typing about our interactions, Randall furrows his brow- an impressively clear message is given.  He is not pleased with my public communications about him.

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Later in life he may be both proud and embarrassed to know what an amazing Aunt he has and how much she adores him.

But this is not what I meant to sit down and write about…. Continue reading “Unbirthday Gifts”

Fambly

I have the kind of family that takes graphs and diagrams to explain.

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  Like most people I have a mom and a dad. Then I also have brothers and sisters. It’s when you ask me a question like “how many brothers and sisters do you have?” that things get confusing.

Don’t worry… I’m not going to try and explain it all here. If you are not already well acquainted with my family and you wonder where all of these people are coming from, just know that you are not alone… Continue reading “Fambly”